Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI), in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Whitewater, invites multi-disciplinary teams to submit proposals to provide professional services to develop a Downtown Plan for Downtown Grand Rapids, MI (Downtown). Downtown is emerging as a regional destination for residents and tourists, and is in need of a Downtown Plan that provides a clear vision and achievable action items to further catalyze investment.
The objective for the Downtown Plan is to identify and prioritize short, middle, and long-term public investment for the next 15 years. These investments will become DGRI’s work plan by helping inform budget priorities, and should help to effect further transformational investments. The selected consultant team will work closely with DGRI and City of Grand Rapids staff during the planning process and development of deliverables. Additionally, the team will need to work collaboratively with a Downtown Plan Steering Committee that will include individuals from a variety of Downtown stakeholder groups, including residents, business and property owners, non-profit representatives, university officials, and students, amongst others.
In order to accomplish the stated objectives it is anticipated the Downtown Plan will seek to address the items described below. This proposed scope of work is intended to be a general outline of the work and not an all-inclusive description of the elements to be included in the Downtown Plan or accompanying planning process.
· A summary of emerging trends, key issues, and opportunities facing Downtown, and recommendations for investments and planning mechanisms to maximize those opportunities. Particular attention shall be focused on opportunities for Downtown land use resulting from the forthcoming Grand River restoration, and the City’s goals for improving mobility options to and within Downtown;
· An analysis of the City’s parking enterprise, with recommendations for system management improvements, investment criteria, and related policies that will position the system to play an active role advancing community goals such as economic development and improving overall mobility into and within Downtown;
· An inventory and analysis of the existing conditions, plans, policies, demographics, resources, and other applicable categories currently influencing the form and growth of Downtown (developed in partnership with DGRI and City of Grand Rapids staff);
· An extensive and innovative public engagement plan and strategy utilizing traditional and non-traditional meeting and outreach methods to encourage participation from a diverse population;
· A series of goals and a vision for Downtown based on the public involvement strategy and based on input from the Downtown Plan Steering Committee;
· A build-out analysis identifying potential development scenarios for Downtown in general, and for DDA owned lots in particular;
· A set of recommendations and implementation steps that are prioritized into short, medium, and long-term actionable goals that enable Downtown to achieve the proposed vision and that is based in best practices from domestic and international downtowns; and,
· A methodology and framework that will enable DGRI to track and report its progress to the community on a series of indicators which represent the goals established in the Downtown Plan.